With puzzles, downward dogs and werewolf friends whilst resembling a potato and figuring out the lawnmower…!
There’s a rumour going round that if you’re not doing something with your time in lockdown then you’ve wasted it & not achieved anything – forget those rumours.. like I mentioned in my first blog, please don’t compare yourself to others – It’s all about self-care during this difficult situation, just taking time for yourself is OKAY!! – So don’t put pressure on yourself if you’ve done nothing during lockdown apart from lie in (perhaps this only applies to those without kids!) read books or just sat quietly in the sunshine when you get 10 minutes because even that is self-care & important for your well-being, so soak up that vitamin D when you can & increase your serotonin ‘happy’ levels. (since writing this it’s started to rain which is also good for ‘stress levels’ so cozy up & embrace it!)
I, however wanted to share some of the things that I’ve been up to in lockdown which might inspire others to try…here’s my top 10!
I never thought Id be a potential ‘blogger’ but isolation seems to have sparked my confidence & creative juices…will see how long it lasts but I’m enjoying it at the moment & hope you continue too as well! I wonder if any of you blog or perhaps have written a diary of your time in lockdown? That would make an interesting read – especially for the grand-kids & future history lessons where people will learn about life in COVID-19… I’m sure it wont be long before a film comes out too!
Resources – All you need is a pen & piece of paper..or a laptop / phone to share with others virtually!
I have found this really helps me… I’d like to tell you more about my experience with this & the ‘power of the mind’ so perhaps I’ll leave that for another time but starting each day with just 10 minutes meditation helps promote a sense of calmness & peace within me. I also write down a positive affirmation for the day – like ‘I will not worry about things I cannot control (very apt at the moment) or ‘Everything I need is within me’ to remind me that it doesn’t matter where I am, if I’m feeling happy & confident with myself then everything is going to be ok! It can also help throughout the day if you feel anxious at all, just taking 10 minutes to sit quietly & take some deep breaths & read out loud your affirmation, it can help put you back into a positive mindset. I’ve also started writing down things that I’m grateful for & putting them in a jar which I can take at any moment to remind me of the things that make me happy…my lovely home, the sunshine, WIFI to stay connected to people, the birds in my garden (& the cats watching the birds..!) 😊
Resources – Podcasts like ‘The daily Meditation’ or one warriorwomama (Instagram), sometimes just a video on Youtube!
I’ve been doing yoga for a few years now & absolutely love it! In lockdown I’ve been doing a daily yoga ‘flow’ after my morning meditation as it helps me to stretch & get moving for the day ahead, it always makes me feel so much better, helping with any back ache I suffer with but also with my mindset. Anyone can do yoga, any shape or size, just do what feels right for you & listen to your body, don’t push yourself if something doesn’t feel right. Don’t let anyone judge you either, I’ve learnt not to let my cats judge me as they strut across my yoga mat to get a comfy spot on the sofa ready to look down at me & watch what poses ill get myself into this time…! I’ve been attempting more ambitious yoga poses such as a hand stand (when did they become so scary?!) and the ‘crow’ which is like a balancing frog pose but after nailing it first time I seemed to have got worse…! However, determination is key.. so I’m sure ill be leaping out of isolation in no time! 😉
Resources – Zenayayoga, Moonkarma, Yoga girl, (Instagram, Facebook) Yoga with Adriene (Youtube)
4. Online diploma
I came across a ‘free’ social media marketing course which I thought would help with my development & keep me focused whilst i’m in Furlough & not working… it is interesting & I’ve done my module 1 (8 classes), ready to continue the next 3 modules but have since found out that I’ve had to extend my free period in order to be able to complete the modules in the time frame..(very sneaky!) so now I’ve signed up for a year which was the most cost-effective option – at least it gives me access to lots of other courses – there’s one on social media content & blogging that might be useful for me!
Resources – Shawacademy but probably other ‘free’ courses out there!
5. Virtual fun
I’ve decided to talk more about the virtual world in my next post so look out for that one but I wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve been up to online! I started joining the virtual pub quiz which is every Thursday evening after ‘the clap’ at 8:00pm & I must say I’ve found it a lot of fun for someone that is hopeless at quizzes – I realised it doesn’t matter if I don’t know any of the answers, it’s something different to do besides watching TV, joining 200,000 other people & learning something! You can also watch pre-recordings to watch in your own time with your friends & family.
I also have regular virtual catch ups with my friends which is so nice! We had a virtual pamper session after our friend sent us all a goodie pamper box with a face-mask & sweeties.. it turned out to be the funniest thing ever as these ‘bubble’ face-masks actually made our faces look furry so we all ended up looking like werewolf creatures.. it definitely gave us all a much needed laugh! (I’ll save you from the pics…!)
As an event organiser I’m a member of a few groups on Facebook for those that work in events so I’ve been getting involved with some live sessions to stay connected & up to date with everything in the industry, discussing various topics. I feel as though I’m actually talking to people more now virtually than I did before when it was face to face or over the phone! Has anyone else found that?
I’ve also found out that you can change your virtual background on ‘Zoom video calls’ for people to see so you could appear somewhere more exotic like on a beach or in the mountains…(one day!) or you can be in a vegetable patch like I found out when I turned myself into a potato causing hysteria in my family & friendship groups… anything to keep you smiling – I’m here all week! 😊 (Unfortunately I wasn’t able to upload the video… but have shared a photo for your amusement!)
Resources – The Virtual Pub Quiz (FB / Youtube) Every Thursday at 20:00 (after the NHS Clap) Connecting with friends & family – Facetime / whatsapp video / Zoom The ‘Potato look’ or other virtual backgrounds – Snapcamera!
6. Puzzles & Colouring
My inner child seems to have come out since being in isolation as i’ve been enjoying colouring again which I actually find very therapeutic… it doesn’t matter what age you are, put on some tunes & get those crayons out… you’ll surprise yourself at how much you enjoy it!
My mum loves puzzles & kindly sent me one to keep me occupied in isolation… I honestly haven’t done a puzzle in years but it was so exciting to receive a ‘Disney Snow White’ puzzle in the post..! Completing the puzzle on the other hand –well that’s another story.. I’ve had it for 3 weeks now & still haven’t been able to put all the pieces together– but I’ll tell you what – once I find a couple of pieces that fit together after a good 20 minutes staring at it – I feel like I’ve won & squeal with delight… such a sense of achievement! How much longer have we got in isolation? I’m going to need it!!
Resources: My ‘adult’ colouring book called ‘Dream Catcher, a soul bird’s journey’ with beautiful illustrations & quotes can be purchased on Amazon – However any colouring book or colouring your own drawings / making rainbows is just as fun! Puzzle – Amazon
Time in isolation has definitely made me appreciate nature more, I absolutely love going for my daily walk (even if I’ve had a lazy day) – getting dressed & heading out for some fresh air really lifts my mood – it is so good for the mind to get outside and be around nature if you can. I must admit, I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by rolling green countryside, to wander through fields (its currently lamb season!) or head down to my local lake to watch the ducks & swans .. I wondered out the other day & spotted a robin which I’ve not seen in ages.. I definitely find myself looking out for wildlife more and seeing what else I can spot on my walks. I’m loving all the rainbows & teddy bears people have put up in their windows to make people smile whilst out for their walk. Do you find that you look out for wildlife or spot new things on your walks that you may have not seen before?
Resources – Outside… go for a wander & see what you can find!
I’ve surprised myself by getting more into fitness since being in isolation, as there are so many online fitness sessions that you can join, especially if you used to go to the gym or attend a weekly class like I used to do before lockdown. I’m loving the walks & if you can just do that it’s great to keep moving but if you don’t fancy a walk in the rain or you want to do something to get your heart racing a bit more, then check out some of the virtual sessions. I do HIIT sessions – some of them are only 10 minutes & (in my case), turn you into a hot, sweaty mess so you know you’ve had a good workout!
Resources Youtube – I follow Pamela Reif HIIT sessions, Facebook / Instagram for my dance teacher Fesa Mabrouk (Curly dancer) who offers live dance, abs & core conditioning sessions with donations – it takes me about 30 minutes to get up from my mat after the ‘Abulous’ session so it must be doing something!
Now this used to be my husband’s area of expertise… but since we separated its something that I’ve had to manage myself…so after putting off for as long as possible….I decided the time came to do something about it when the cats looked like they were walking through a jungle! After watching a youtube video to work out how the lawn mower fit together (don’t mock me I’m sure you’ve turned to youtube for guidance in your time..) I impressed myself by cutting the grass & surprised myself that it was actually quite enjoyable & therapeutic watching the ‘almost’ straight lines appear in the grass… AND it’s a good work out AND I caught the sun – win win!
Resources – A lawnmower & Youtube for instructions…!
Now, it’s just a guess but I think this is something you may have also done during lockdown… want to know how I know? Because I can’t find any flour in the shops!! I think the whole world has gone into a baking frenzy which I think is amazing & hopefully have learned some new recipes in the meantime.. I was so fortunate to have received a whole box of Gluten free products by my wonderful auntie & cousins so I spent the weekend baking brownies, and then of course, continued to eat them all by myself… I also love making a banana loaf or muffins which I’ve noticed a few people baking & banana pancakes are my ‘go to breakfast’ on the weekend! I’ll definitely be sharing some recipes soon & would love for you to join me in sharing your favourite recipes too 😊
Like I’m sure many of you, I’ve got into a bad habit of drinking alcohol on a regular (ok, daily) basis.. my parents very thoughtfully sent me a whole case of wine to keep me company throughout lockdown and I must admit I’ve done a pretty good job of getting through it – times are hard these days so as I say, anything to make you feel a bit better!
Saying that, I’ve recently come across a company called ‘Arbonne’ which has been going for 40 years so i’m surprised id never heard of it but they believe in a holistic approach focusing on a cleaner, healthier, happier life inside & out through nutrition, skincare, hair care & makeup as well as looking after the planet as all products are vegan, animal cruelty free & environmentally friendly. There is a 30 day healthy living programme I’ve decided to start on Monday 4th May for a cleanse after consuming my body weight in alcohol & chocolate! So if anyone is interested in joining me on the programme or learning more about the company in general please get in touch! I’ve decided to join as a consultant as i’m so impressed with the company & everything it stands for so I’ll be sharing more about that soon! Id definitely rather ‘leap out’ than ‘roll out’ of lockdown…!
Resource – I use ‘Doves Freee from’ range – maybe you can experiment with GF baking if you’re not familiar with it, it may also help if you suffer from digestive problems such as bloating etc…
Arbonne – www.NaomiEnglish.arbonne.com or get in touch with me for more info! 🙂
I hope you’ve found this an interesting read, please share with anyone you think may benefit from it! Remember that we have handled challenges before and like everything in life, this lockdown will soon pass.. try not to worry yourself about when it will be over but rather take each moment by moment, day by day & we’ll get there! Hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration to try new things in the meantime to help you through it.
I would still love to hear what you have been up to & if there is anything you can recommend for me to try?!
Next time – Look out for my post where I’ll be talking about the virtual world…What have you done for the first time ‘Virtually’ since being in isolation? And do you think it will continue even after lockdown?